Select the 'right' boarding school

Criteria that will help you select the 'right' boarding school

Parents who are about to make a decision about a suitable boarding school for their children are often faced by many questions. When speaking with friends and relatives who have experience with boarding schools ‘helpful’ advice can often give a completely different impression about a particular school or about boarding schools in general. Such subjective experiences or prejudices can complicate decision making for parents, especially if they have to form an opinion within a short time span. Thus it is most important to make one’s own choice.

Before deciding on a particular boarding school, you should check different criteria which will help you to find the ideal educational institution.

In which country/region should the boarding school be located?
When is the best time for your child to change over to a boarding school?
Which one is the 'right' boarding school?
Does your child agree with the decision to attend a boarding school?
How do I choose between the different boarding schools on my short list?
Information worth knowing prior to making the final choice



In which country/region should the boarding school be located?

If the boarding school is located in the same country/federal state or county it will most likely have the same syllabus and educational rules as the school currently attended by your child, which is advantageous for the child. If your child is to study abroad, be sure to check in advance to what extent the qualifications obtained are accredited by the authorities and educational institutions at home.

Via our search engines more than 3000 international boarding schools are available. You will be sure to find a boarding school in the country of your choice.


When is the best time for your child to change over to a boarding school?

The best time for enrolment is at the beginning of the school year or after the first-term reports. Nevertheless it is possible to enrol your child at a boarding school at any time during the school year, but keep in mind that an application should not be sent at the end of the school year. Due to the fact that every institution has different enrolment dates, you might miss the deadline. If you are applying at the last minute, you could miss opportunities and be left with few alternatives.


Which one is the 'right' boarding school?

Boarding schools should have their syllabuses based on the those of state schools. If you do not wish to change the type of school, there are no special criteria for selection. Extracurricular activities and leisure facilities are important for your child’s development and are worth focussing on in your search. You should also pay attention to how homework is controlled and if any intensive courses are offered in small groups.


Does your child agree with the decision to attend a boarding school?

Parents often threaten their children with boarding school when scholastic achievements and performance are insufficient or when interpersonal problems arise. Such threats, along with other prejudices, boost children’s aversion towards attending boarding school. Even if this change is a good option for their educational future, children do not want to feel as though they are being shunted off. In most cases, children and teenagers do not want to leave their familiar environment, friends and family. Nevertheless, if the parents feel that the positive aspects of a boarding school education outweigh the objections, it is very important for them to discuss every aspect with the child.

With understanding and sympathy, it is possible to make the child enthusiastic about changing to a boarding school. You can review different offers and deal with registration together. With all of this in mind, however, in some cases it is sometimes still necessary to make this decision without the child’s consent.


How do I choose between the different boarding schools on my short list?

It is most important to have a checklist with all of the essential questions. If you decide to visit boarding schools, be sure to visit at a time when lessons are taking place, with as many pupils taking part as possible. Your child should also talk with individual boarders of his/her age. Boarding schools often offer two or three trial stays. It is useful to make use of this chance, as prejudices are removed in this way. Indeed, in many cases children are agreeably surprised.

It is not necessary to involve the child in your conversations with the boarding school director, teachers or educators, particularly if you are talking about the educational problems and aims of the child. Instead, your child can spend this time with the other children and visit the different classrooms and facilities.

After some extensive research, you can put together a list of advantages and disadvantages and compare it with other boarding schools.


Information worth knowing prior to making the final choice

Boarding school advisory services often advertise in daily newspapers. It is always recommended to collect information about the background and ownership of such consulting services, as well as about their commissions and agency fees.

The contract with the boarding school must be read thoroughly, as by signing it you will enter into a long-standing financial commitment. Ask about the fine print and have a lawyer read through it.

The change to a boarding school is a significant step for your child: don't make any hasty decisions. Make inquiries about the academic possibilities you can revert to if your child has difficulties in settling into the boarding school environment.